Velvet 85: doing more than flowers

On my last visit to Alowyn Gardens I took the Lensbaby Velvet 85 with me. I have had it on loan for a few weeks now, and the gardens are a great place to take photos with any lens that could be good for macro photography. The Velvet 85 is no different. 

The lens is marketed as a portrait lens, though it is a great lens for macro as well. It gives you a wonderful soft-focus effect.


You can get some amazing effects with it. It would also be wrong to think the lens is only good for macro or portraits. While I’ve had it, I have used it for many different subjects and more landscape type ones at Alowyn Gardens is just one.  I also used it in the city one day for some street photography and I will show you those photos soon.

By changing the aperture you can get different depths of field, along with different degrees of the soft-focusing.

You can achieve an amazing bokek effect. Put your subject in the foreground and blur out the background. The Velvet 85 is one of the best lenses I’ve seen for that.


When you can work out how to make it work for you then you have the ability to create wonderful images with lots of mood. Moody images are very popular now.

While at the gardens I could make images that help create that magical feeling that people get from them. Walking through trees, and following the paths, taking photos in an attempt to make them look like pictures from a children’s story book. I did love the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton when I was a child.

Here are a few more.

The Lensbaby Velvet 85 is a brilliant lens and the effects are unique. If you are looking for a lens that will give you something different, this is a great one. Such a shame it has to go back to Lensbaby.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

As I spoke about the other day, I now have an affiliation and so if you download the software using the link, which is the image than get something for the introduction.

Click on image to download your copy and try it for 30 days.

You are going to see more of this, ads for products that I have affiliations with or something similar. I hope that will be okay.

You might be interested in …


  1. I joined a Lensbaby group on Facebook ( I have the sweet 50). I’ve seen a lot of wonderful shots with both the velvet 56 and 85. Your photos are gorgeous. What differences do you see in the Velvet 56 and 85?

    1. I have joined a couple of them as well.Thank you Nora, I love the Velvet lenses. There aren’t a lot of differences, you can get close the same, but it is more that you can get closer from further away, if you know what I mean.

  2. It’s wonderful to see in your images what the lensbaby 85 can do, though I have to save up for purchasing it. I can understand that you had to say goodbye to your loan lens.
    Right now I ordered the Helios 44-2 lens at a great deal and I’m excited what it will do for me. Do you have any experience with it?
    Well anyways thank you so much for sharing your images

    1. Thank you Cornelia, yes, I think it will be this week. I haven’t heard of that lens, you will have to let me know what you think of it.

  3. I’ve been seriously thinking about it. They don’t make the 85 for the 4/3 format, but I think the 56 does the same stuff for the smaller format camera.

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